Life around here is usually, for the most part, pretty smooth sailing. We try to adhere loosely to a routine that works for us, enjoy spending our days reading and playing and baking and crafting, have quiet time in the afternoons, and, following a pleasant bedtime routine, generally have all the kids tucked into their beds between 7:30 and 8:00. This week, however, has just completely thrown me overboard, and I've been drowning in a metaphorical sea of illness, injury, and disorder with scarcely more than a twig of hope to cling to.
Caitlyn and Meghan have been waging war against terrible coughs, the likes of which I've not previously heard in this household, and neither has had much of an appetite. Meghan, when she can be enticed to eat, invariably ends up coughing so much midway through her meal that she throws up all that we worked so hard to get into her. Caitlyn, ordinarily a very good sleeper, is up countless times throughout the night coughing and asking for water. Both girls have been intermittently experiencing fevers over 101 degrees. And Darren, God love him, has acquired a fairly significant hernia which will require surgical repair on April 11.
Still, when my alarm rang at 11:30 Thursday night, I had no idea how interminably looong the next 24 hours would prove to be. I had significant reservations about working that night, but Darren assured me that since everybody was sleeping anyway, he would be just fine. At 2:30 he called me to say that both girls were up, and told me later that after medicating them at that time, they were all still up for a long while. When I got home yesterday morning, everybody seemed fine, but my assessment of the situation proved to be completely inaccurate as the day progressed. By lunch time Meghan was getting extremely fussy, so after hastily feeding Dylan and Caitlyn, I announced that we would all be taking naps. Somehow, though, in a brief window of time during which I was talking to my brother on the phone, Meghan managed to fall against the bottom rung of a dining room chair and busted her lip, bloodying her mouth and setting my heart racing. She was, from that point on, inconsolable. No amount of rocking, walking, swaying, dancing, singing, or talking would soothe her. She refused to nurse, arching away from me, wailing in agony.
After exhausting all means of calming her, I finally called Darren at work and he was able to get a 3:00 appointment for her with the pediatrician. He came home early to go with me, and my mom volunteered to watch Dylan for us (we took Caitlyn along with us to find out what more we could be doing for her). After waiting for over an hour to be seen, the doctor finally came in, took a quick peek in Meghan's ears and mouth, diagnosed an ear infection, and rushed back out. We left with prescriptions for antibiotics and albuterol, with dosing instructions for both girls.
Since it was already 5:00 by the time we returned home, we invited my mom to stay for dinner. While we waited for pizza to be delivered (I hope you'll excuse our laziness!), we prayed the Stations of the Cross as we've been doing every Friday this Lent. My mom was more than happy to join us and it felt really nice to include her.
By the time we finished eating and tidying up the house, I was really looking forward to crawling into bed and burying myself under the covers. Little Meghan, on the other hand, wasn't so cooperative. I had hoped that following a long day with very little nap, combined with doses of her new medications, she would fall asleep easily. How wrong I was! She cried and fussed through two entire rounds of this CD (one which usually settles her right down). When she finally fell asleep around 10:00, I tucked her into our bed with us and was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow...only to be awakened at 11:30, when she woke up screaming and crying anew. Luckily, she fell asleep after nursing briefly, but was awake again at 1:00, crying this time with an intensity that had both Darren and I out of bed trying to calm her down. Following another dose of Tylenol, a complete change of clothes for myself and her after she threw up all over us, and more nursing and rocking, I decided to sleep sitting up in the recliner with her resting against my shoulder. She seemed more comfortable that way than laying down, and I was so desperate for some sleep.
This morning, I feel as though I have broken the surface and can finally see the shore of health and well being beckoning in the near distance. Today, praise God, Meghan is doing much better, and has even been playing and laughing with her usual mischievousness. I took her with me this morning, in fact, to a bridal boutique with my mom. I'm having a few alterations done to the dress I'll be wearing as matron of honor in my mom's June wedding. It's so pretty, light blue and sparkly, and I feel like Cinderella when I slip it on. (Well, minus the itsy bitsy waist. And puffy sleeves. And full skirt. Ummm, and I won't be wearing any long white gloves. But really, it is rather pretty!)
And now, with Meghan down for a nap, I, too, am going to try and get some rest. There is nothing in the world that sounds more inviting to me right now than my nice soft bed, snuggled together with my sweet, warm children!